x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Johnson left frustrated by 'tough loss'

The England chief urged his side to use the "horrible feeling" stored inside them after their loss to Ireland when they resume their Six Nations campaign away to Scotland.

Martin Johnson, the England team manager, urged his side to use the "horrible feeling" stored inside them after their 20-16 home loss to Ireland when they resume their Six Nations campaign away to Scotland. England rallied from 13-6 down to go 16-13 in front with eight minutes remaining after a converted try from Dan Cole, the prop's first on the international stage, which was supplemented by a Jonny Wilkinson drop goal.

However, Ireland hit back when Tommy Bowe beat Wilkinson before rounding Ugo Monye to score the second of his two tries and end England's hopes of a Grand Slam. "It is a tough, tough loss," said Johnson. "I thought the guys played very well. They got themselves back into the game and got themselves ahead. It was a tough game, either team could have won it. "We did a lot of good things. I thought it was a good performance. It was wet, muddy and we were playing Ireland so it is going to be difficult. Have we lots to get better at? Yes, we have. It is frustrating for us all because there were chances [to win the game]. But we only took one in the second half and they scored two. That was probably the difference.

"It is a very tough loss to take and we will work that through. We will be better for the game. "I said to the players they have to keep that horrible feeling inside of them for two weeks and release it at Murrayfield. We come back to play Scotland, who will be playing that game to save their championship [after Saturday's 16-12 loss in Italy]." Wilkinson said: "It's disappointing. It's a hell of a feeling actually. I've not felt like this for a long time. It feels like we've taken a big bang."

Scotland, regardless of their form, usually manage to rouse themselves for the visit of England, as Johnson will know with England's last two trips north of the border ending in defeat. * With agencies